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5 Top Tips to Get Education Benefits

July 16, 2012

How can you make the most of your military benefits? There are a few different theories that can help you use your financial aid and military benefits to the best of their potential. Military service members can use multiple ways to eliminate time and money on their college degree, and thus graduate with a degree for a cheaper cost in a shorter period of time. Here are the top ways to reach y our goals and achieve your education's full potential.

1. Testing Out

Credit-by-exam will give you the opportunity to earn credits at the college level by testing out. There are over 2,900 colleges that accept credit-by-exam. Most of these tests are through the College Level Examination Program, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests or Excelsior College Exam tests. While each test may have a cost, it is much less than an actual course, and you don't have to spend an entire semester taking it. You can complete the test in a day and earn credits for up to an entire year of college credits.

2. Military Training and Experience

Many colleges also offer credits to military service members because of their training and experience. As a veteran, you can use the American Council on Education recommendations to pick up credits based on your military training and experiences. You need to check with your college first to see if they accept ACE, but many do. You can usually test out of credits and use military training to get through an entire two-year program, allowing you to earn an associate's degree right out of the military.

3. Tuition Assistance Program

The Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Program is a benefit for eligible members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, Air Force, and Ready Reserves. Congress has given each branch the ability to pay up to $4,500 a year for 100 percent of your tuition expenses. However, each branch has their own criteria for eligibility. You may also be eligible to use MGIB Top-Up program in addition to TA. In addition, you never have to pay back money that you receive from TA.

4. Veterans Affairs and G.I. Bill Benefits

There are multiple programs between the VA and G.I. Bill that pay for your education. Through the VA, you can get the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, MGIB, VEAP, REAP and Reserve GI Bill. One G.I. Bill can provide over $37,000 in education benefits that you can use towards college, technical, or vocational courses, distance learning courses, certification tests, job training and flight training. In addition, these programs will pay for living expenses and books.

5. Military Scholarships and Grants

There are also plenty of scholarships and grants that you can be eligible for through your military background. You may be able to receive extremely low interest student loans and grants because of veteran status. You need to apply for Federal Student Aid through Through this application, you can be eligible for multiple grants, fellowships, work-study programs and student loans.

Find Post-Military Education

Many schools set up entire veterans communities with transition assistance, tutoring, prep courses and stable support system. Finding a college that provides services for veterans is simple.

Use our FREE custom search tool to find great military-friendly schools:

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